Price Atkinson - CAMROSE, Alberta - It's officially crunch time now for the two American women's teams at the Meridian Canadian Open.
For Jamie Sinclair and Nina Roth it’s win-or-go-home. Facing elimination games this morning in Draw 11 at Encana Arena, the top-two American skips have their backs against the wall. But don't count them out just yet.
Coming off a runner-up finish last weekend at the International Bernese Ladies Cup in Switzerland, Team Sinclair emerged from the C bracket to advance to the playoffs. Sinclair had a draw for two and the win in the eighth and final end but clipped a guard, which forced extras where Chinese skip Bingyu Wang captured the title with a 6-5 comeback victory.
Sinclair, which finished second to Roth at the United States Olympic Trials back in November and is now ranked eighth on Tour, will face the Swiss Olympic representative led by skip Silvana Tirinzoni.
Ranked seventh on Tour, Tirinzoni has won the last two against Sinclair but has had an up-and-down week in Camrose. The Sinclair-Tirinzoni winner will matchup against Anna Hasselborg with a spot in the playoffs on the line.
Meanwhile, the United States' Olympic representative Team Roth will take on upstart Casey Scheidegger. The Alberta native who qualified for her first Scotties last weekend poses a tough challenge for Roth and crew.
After a resounding 8-0 victory against Alina Paetz in the opener, Roth dropped a pair of games to Olympic teams in Canada's Team Homan (7-1) and Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg (7-4). Ranked ninth on Tour, Team Roth can move forward with a win where they'd face the winner of Chelsea Carey-Michelle Englot for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Roth has a big win on the board this fall, defeating Jennifer Jones and Kelsey Rocque before a 5-4 win over Hasselborg in the final to capture the Canadian Inn Women's Classic in Manitoba.